Haikyu!!: Episode 24 – “Removing “The Solitary King””

Haikyu!! focuses on two first-year high school volleyball players named Shoyo Hinata and Kageyama Tobio. The previous year they had competed against each other in a junior high tournament, and Shoyo decides to become Kageyama’s rival. The two boys come from very different volleyball backgrounds: Kageyama was part of Kitagawa Daiichi’s team and was a self-centered setter, while Shoyo spend most of junior high practicing being a spiker by himself because his school didn’t have a team until his last year. On the first day of high school, Shoyo and Kageyama are surprised to see that they’re both at Karasuno High School.

Episode 24 primarily focuses on getting through the third set between Karasuno and Aoba Johsai. This ends up being rather intense, especially since the winner will be determined by which team can get a two-point lead first.

Emotions run high as the match sees the two teams constantly alternating which one is scoring, and neither one making much ground. It’s not until the score reaches 31-31 that a team finally starts getting an advantage.

In this episode, Kageyama spends some time reflecting on when he played on the junior high team. He especially finds himself caught off-guard when he sees how much better Kunimi is playing with Aoba Johsai than when they played on the same team together in junior high.

I had anticipated which team would ultimately win the third set, but I still found myself feeling a little disappointed and off-guard when that team actually won. I knew in my heart of hearts that this is how this would have to play out, but the match had been so intense during the episode that I couldn’t help but find myself rooting for the underdog team. While the underdog team takes the loss hard, I think they also learn a lesson in humility as well.

From seeing the preview for Episode 25, which is the final episode of the series, it appears our characters will be returning back to school and having to adjust to being back in their regular life off the court. I’m very interested to see how Haikyu!! is brought to an end, and if there’s any door that’s left open to potentially allow another season to happen at some point.

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